Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22:"Province's job plan: Push marijuana"


That's the headline. Front page.  And your reaction?
Most people will think "That's their job plan? That's it? Push marijuana?" That's the only plan they have? Becoming the dope capital of North America? That seems clear. The word plan is singular. That means it's the only plan the government has.

 Now, headlines are written by editors. This one was obviously intended to be humorous. But headlines are not for telling jokes. It's obviously derogatory toward the government. But that's an opinion. And headlines are not for giving opinions, either. They're for telling what a story is about.

This one is crashingly bad journalism. And it was written by an editor.
The rest of section A news is trival. A chef, for example,  is going to shuck oysters.

The editorial is pretty trivial, too - though with a weird ending. It's about Pride parade being driven by our community's natural spirit of inclusiveness. Oh, come on. No community on this earth has a natural spirit of inclusiveness. New Brunswick, like Canada, like the U.S., like Britain, like everybody has a long tradition of racism, class snobbery, all sorts of exclusiveness. It's a tradition that has been used against various religious groups, blacks, orientals, native peoples and, until very, very recently, against gays.

By all means, let's get over these biases. But let's not kid ourselves we are just naturally broad-minded.

Norbert has a column on emergency room waiting times. The trouble is he makes not the slightest attempt to find out why they can be so long. The result is a column that is just a rant.

Craig Babstock tells us that a local runner in the Olympics made us proud simply by being in the Olympics. I'm sure he's right. But the column is, to put it bluntly, pretty bland stuff that really has nothing to say. Steve Malloy has a column praising our new mayor. The praise may one day be justified. But it's surely a little early to hand out the medals.

Alec Bruce has a column on the advantage of the HST over the PST. I am nowhere close to being qualified to criticize him on economic matters. but - holy mackerel, Mr. Rruce, no columnist shoud base his column on the opinions of a couple of hacks working for a propaganda outfit like The Fraser Institute. This, like AIMS and the C.D.Howe institute is financed by  big business to spread propaganda for the benefit of big business.

Section A is a write-off.

Almost all of Canada&World is either trivial or propaganda. For propaganda, check out "Brother of Syrian boy wounded in Aleppo dies". I'm sure the story is true, but - think hard. How often do you see headlines like "American bombs in Yemen klling children by the thousands. "American bombs in Iraq killed a million civilians". " American police lead world by killing over a thousand people every year." "weapons used by ISIS to kill thousands are supplied by U.S. and Saudi Arabia".

What we are getting is world news that really tells us nothing at all.
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American police, by the way, have killed 693 Americans so far this year. So it is still the world leader and heading for over a thousand for this year - perhaps even for a new record. However you slice it, and whether you support the police or the dead, this is a sign of a society in profound decay.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police-killings
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Here's a problem we don't hear much about in our news media. But it's a huge problem all over the world.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2016/aug/19/from-rural-romania-to-a-swiss-brothel-video
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"Yemen?" said the Irving press editor. "Never heard of it. What part of New Brunswick is it in?"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/22/why-do-they-target-us-yemeni-civilians-pay-the-price-of-escalating-crisis
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And, gee, aren't those terrorists awful for the killiing they do?

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/aug/22/iraq-children-health-cost-war-induced-air-pollution-study-toxic-waste-birth-d
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And here is a thoughtul, if long, discourse on how our economies have worsened as a result of the neoliberal economics imposed by margaret Tatcher and Ronald Reagan (and the irving press).

We now live in a world of shaky economies, unlimited greed of the wealthy, almost constant and widespread war, collapsing societies, spreading poverty - none of which any of our leaders, including Trudeau, give any sign of even recognizing.It is also the only column I have seen in any news medium that has a kind word for Trump.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics
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Yes, it is true that the U.S. organized and funded Jihadist movements. In fact, it's been doing so for thirty years. Funny how that never made the news.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/22/shifting-alliances-turkey-russia-and-the-kurds/
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Here's another one who is not a Trump admirer - but who  notices that the other side is  made up of liars and scoundrels, too.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/22/what-does-it-mean-when-war-hawks-say-never-trump/
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Here's an interesting look at a solution to improving production while at the same time improving life for the workers. Capitalism has always worked on the principle of making people work as long as possible for as little as possible. In fact, our trade agreements of the past thirty years have not improved our wealth or our lives. Nor were they intended to. They were intended to give capital cheaper sources of labour. Thus the destruction of Detroit as the car industry moved to places of dirt cheap labour.

But Sweden sees the future in working shorter hours while still getting full pay at a weekly rate. (Hide this from the Chamber of Commerce).

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/22/labouring-hours-swedens-six-hour-working-day/

Countercurrents is the best source of comment I have seen. Some of it is hard to follow because it's about conditions in Asia that I know little about. But when it moves into areas I'm familiar with, I find its standard of  understanding and solid writing very high, indeed.
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I have been looking for column that,  in broad strokes, explains what is happening in the middle east and Africa - so far without luck. So here are some very broad strokes by me.

The middle east part begins with the collapse of the Ottoman empire in World War 1. That happened exactly as it became obvious that oil was essential to the future. So the British used people like Lawrence of Arabia to win over arab leaders on all sorts of big promises - almost all of which were ignored. Typically, they won over local arab leaders  to set up what were commonly new countries with oil under the control of British capitalists. France joined the game, as did the U.S.

The result was to get oil on the cheap, draw borders for countries that had not existed before, create local billionaires to keep the people quiet, and socially disorient the whole region. One of the sweetest deals was that Iran had to supply oil for  the whole British navy - free. That last until 1948 when Iran elected a government to drop it.

The British couldn't afford a war at that time. So it shared a war with the U.S. to dump the elected leader of Iran, put in a dictator, and split the oil between British and American capitalists.

Later, the Iranians would get rid of the dictator and elect their own government. The British and American news media promptly branded Iranians as evil. They still do.

The British also considered creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Hitler thought it was a good idea, too. So did Canada and the U.S. Because it would be good for Jews?


No.
It was because Britain and Germany and the U.S. and Canada and others wanted to dump their Jews; and this would be a good way to do it. After World War 2, they did do it - for two reasons. One was the old one of getting rid of their Jews. The other was to give the U.S. a reliable base in the middle east.

The result of all this was a demoralization and destabilization of the whole region. It hit a new high in 1948 with the creation of israel. But the trouble did not come because arabs hated Jews. in fact, Arabs and Jews had lived together in peace in Palestine since the origins of Islam. In fact, both the Jews and the arabs of Palestine were semitic in skin colour and in many customs.

The objection was to the intrusion of millions of European Jews who were NOT a semitic people. They were Europeans, not the Jews of The Bible at all. And the Palestinian Jews were no happier to see them than the Palestinian arabs were.
By the 1950s arabs were thoroughly demoralized by western dominance of their countries, and by the profits that flowed out to the west while they remained in poverty. That is when the concept of Jihadism developed.

But it was the CIA that made Jihadism a real force. It equipped and trained strict Muslim sects to fight against Russia when it invaded Afghanistan. They beat the Russians. And that's when they realized that Russia was not their only enemy. When the U.S. mounted its own invasion of Afghanistan it was the Jihadists who made that an unwinnable war.

Perhaps the greatest turning point was the very brutal invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and Britain for no other reason than to get control of its oil. With that, Jihadism became a major force in the middle east.

The US now found itself facing a series of wars throughout the region - notably with Syria and Yemen. But it had a problem with conventional  warfare. The American public would not accept high American casualty rates. That was the great lesson of Vietnam. So the U.S. used Jihadists to fight Syria. It was part of a general plan to make arabs defeat themselves by fighting each other.

And then Russia ruined that plan.

The middle east never was a region of all the countries we see on a map. Events since 1914 have disordered and demoralized the whole region. The U.S. needs it to be demoralized and disordered so its oil barons can continue to control it.
Africa? Similar in many respects, though going back to the fourteenth century. The west conquered regions for slaves and gold and other precious metals. It destroyed societies by drawing lines on the map and calling them nations. Africa has been thoroughly pillaged - and it still is going on. Western capitalism has made no attempt to modernize societies, to raise living conditions or to encourage democracy. It has been plundered to make billionaires richer - with not the slightest thought for the needs of the people.

The result is violence that we rarely read about in our news, dreadful disease, poverty....

Our God is greed. That's why the hired revs at the Irving Chapel and the sermonette writers of the irving press prefer to discuss other topics.
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As I mentioned in earlier post, I plan, starting now, to write blogs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. That will give me time to write the uninteresting story of my life for my children.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 20: Wouldn't this be a nicer world if.......

The irving press. Section B. Page 3. "Kurdi says haunting photo of Syrian boy risks prolonging Middle Eastern conflict." (Kurdi is a woman now living in BC who was the aunt of the boy who was photgraphed drowned and lying face down on a Turkish beach about a year ago.)

This is a magnificent report. And it's what most reporting is not.

As Kurdi says, this recent photo of an injured boy was deliberately staged to encourage hatred of the Syrian government, and to prolong a terrible war. Any reporter (let alone any editor) who didn't know that is a  half-wit.

As well,    all the news media know that the news unit that shot this picture was working for the Syrian opposition. This is a horrible example of our news media, including CBC, who act as propagandists.

This is a war that was imposed on Syria and much of the middle east by ---not by the U.S. government. The U.S. government is just a puppet....it was controlled by oil billionaires to make themselves richer. In this war, alone, they have murdered, crippled, orphaned millions, the larger part of that probably children.

The oil billionaires, with the help of our news media, have made us, like them, the slime of the earth.

This is one of the simplest - and best - news items I have ever read. And I congratulate the editor of the Canada&World section for publishing it.
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The headline story for page A1 is, for the first time in my journlistic experience, the same as the headline story in section B, page 1. The story is that Dominic Leblanc is being given an unnamed prominent role by Trudeau....uh, guys, his present role as House Leader is pretty prominent. So why is he losing it for something else? What is the something else? And why are the Liberals releasing the story in this awkward way?
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The biggest story in section A is that the Irving Memorial Chapel will have special music this Sunday by a Rev. Dr.
 
Wow! Hold me back.

Nothing else is worth reading in section A unless you really, really like the propaganda pieces from the Fraser Institute. Oh, and there's another 'everybody like me' column by Brian Murphy. Guaranteed to offend neither man nor beast. And absolutely safe for people who get headaches from thnking.
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Section B has that superb story on the Syrian boy who was used as a propaganda prop. It  has nothing else worth reading.
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The family which owns the irving press and the what's-its-name chapel has been shrinking its faith pages for a year. The two pages are now down to one-third of a page, with the rest filled with  Christian ads about car sales.

The sermonette, as usual, is another "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam".

We - you and me and our churches - are taking part in a world run by greed. We are playing a role in massive killing for private profit. We have played a part in creating tens of millions of refugees. Now, the irving press pats us all on our unattractive behinds for accepting a tiny, tiny fraction of the refugees whose countries we are destroying. And we accept them only because - as we are told over and over  - they will be good for our economy.

What a pack of hypocrites we are! And how can our clergy go on week after week running wimpy sermonettes in the midst of this unChristian land we have become? This page is mindless, snivelling, hypocritic, and profoundly irreligious.
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Hillary Clinton makes $5,000 a minute talking to billionaires. And she refuses to say what she tells them. And the news media refuse to ask her.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ralph-nader/hillarys-hubris-only-tell_b_11617742.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications
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And here's a  dismaying story.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/20/texas-maternal-mortality-rate-health-clinics-funding

It should not be surprising, though. In much of the U.S. - and in Canada - the wealthy who control governments don't care about public health. To them, the only purpose of money to to get it for themselves, and to privatize health and education other services - not to help anybody who needs health and education and other services - but to steer more money into the pockets of the wealthy.
And what will happen as a result? Societies break down. We're watching it happen in the U.S.

Generally, I seem to be finding The Guardian less independent than it used to be. For a second day, it has run a story on the boy who was used as a propaganda set-up in Aleppo. And it is taking a very one-sided look in general at the whole region. Today (I never thought I'd say this) the coverage on that story in Aleppo was better in the irving press than it was in The Guardian.
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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45315.htm
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The Irving press has said nothing about the U.S. killings in Yemen - and close to nothing about the Saudi killings in Yemen.

//www.sbs.com.au/news/thefeed/article/2016/08/19/new-york-times-slams-us-complicit-yemen-carnage
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This story came as a surprise to me. I didn't know that major players in the U.S. oil industry had such a stake in Russian oil - and that they may be working to support Trump in his relationship with Putin. (I do, however, think it unlikely this could be pulled off.)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/dinograndoni/russia-and-the-next-president?utm_term=.nkpjaL7wR5#.as6OZDXrdv
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This next source is Russian. I have no doubt its purpose is propaganda. However, I have learned that, in recent  years, the Russians have learned the value of using the truth  for their propaganda. They may not tell the whole truth, but they are sophisticated enough to tell the truth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45317.htm
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Our news media don't pay a whole lot of attention to China. And they pay no attention whatever to U.S. military and naval deployments in the Pacific. This is another case which, if pursued, will lead  to a nuclear war.

http://fpif.org/china-u-s-approaching-dangerous-seas/
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I thought the next one amusing at first. Then it dawned on me how true it is. Us humans ae not really vey good at thinking. We are taught to believe what others believe -and and some others WANT us to believe. And, in the end, we believe what we want to believe - ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/20/western-propaganda-so-simple-but-so-effective/

That's why it's so common for the very wealthy to believe that they are intellectually and, almost, racially superior to the rest of us. (Just like the old aristocracy.) That makes it possible for them to impoverish others  ( their inferiors) and even to murder them by the millions.
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The behaviour of logging companies in Brazil has been destroying the nation's forests, and the forest people. Much of the rainforest is gone - and is unlikely to come back. The people of the forest, many of whom are still unknown to our world, are disappearing with the forest they depend on to survive.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/19/amazon-fires-threaten-to-wipe-out-uncontacted-indigenous-people/
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Somehow, all of this reminds me of a world long ago when I taught grade seven. As in any school, severe problems would arise from time to time - beatings, illnesses that parents refused to deal with; two of the boys I taught died in shoot-outs with police while still in their teens....

Invariably, the principal would do nothing. And in one case, that led to the death of a student. The principal would simply stand by, hands behind his back, and say, "Wouldn't this be a better world if people were just nice to each other?"

(Maybe he could write for the Faith Page.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19: A drifting world

I'm beginning this on Thursday evening because I have been watching news on a variety of channels. All of them carried the story of a little boy in Aleppo who had been wounded by a bomb. There are some obvious problems with this.

1. The boys' rescuers immediately carried him to a brightly lit room, and placed him in a very dramatic-looking chair.

2. There were at least two cameramen there to film him. Now, if you found a boy injured by a bomb, would your first instinct be to put him in dramatic chair with bright lights and two cameramen?

3. The story told us that the camermen were from a news medium hostile the Syrian government.

The story also strongly implied (without evidence) that he was bombed by Syrian aircraft. Quite possibly, he was, of course. Or, equally possibly, it was somebody else's bomb. Or maybe it was not a bomb at all.

But the gist of all the stories was that this boy had been bombed by the evil Anwar Sadat.

This whole thing was designed as propaganda. And all the media I have seen bought into it - including the CBC.

Now, think hard. In recent years, the U.S. has killed, crippled, orphaned nobody knows how many children, probably 2 million or so. How many newscasts have you seen in which their victims were rushed into a TV setup by camermen from a hostile nation, and with a text full of implications that the U.S. is evil?
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News is commonly propaganda. And that's not it's only problem. It gives us information in small bites, even in newspapers - just incident after incident. Because of that, we never get a general sense of what is happening or why.
So here's a try at what the big picture is.

1. Big business, always influential in government, now virtually owns it. Canada is now negotiating the TPP terms, for example. All indications are that the agreement aims at making big business free of any government controls. All legislation which has any effect on business, including legislation to maintain environmental safety, will become virtually forbidden. Corporations will have the right to do whatever they wish in any country that is a part of the deal. Canada Post and Medicare are on the table for privatization. So is education.
In effect, democracy will be dead. In many respects, it already is dead.

Corporations are free to hide their money from taxation all over the world so that social progammes become impossible. The distribution of wealth has been moving heavily to the very rich for a good 30 years.

Already, it does not matter whether New Brunswick elects Liberals or Conservatives. Nor does it matter who is elected next president of the U.S. Corporations will make all the decisions. They have been blatantly doing so for generations.

The wealthy are organizing themselves into the new aristocracy, with wealth and power  handed down by parentage at birth. With that goes all the characteristics of the old aristocracy - indifference to the needs of society, an arrogant belief in their superiority to us peasants and in the righteousoness of their rule. And, just as with the old aristocracy by inheritance, a growing incompetence - partly the result of inbreeding. (Check British history for examples.)

2. Within that context, American corporate leaders have decided they will control the world. No, that's not an extreme view. American corporate leaders and their political hacks have said so, very publicly.

Bush, Obama, Clinton and many others have said they believe in American exceptionalism. indeed, they have made a point of saying it. And what they mean is no secret. American exceptionalism means that the rules which apply to all the rest of the world do not apply to the U.S. It is free to invade without cause and in defiance of the law and the UN.

And, since U.S. governments are owned by corporation bosses, that means the corporation bosses are free to use Americans - and British and French and Canadians and anybody else they like to use - to conquer countries in order to make corporation bosses richer. That's why millions have died, and millions more live in misery as refugees.

This is also information that has been available on the web for twenty years - Project for the New American Century - a blue print for world conquest. The points about American exceptionalism and Project for the New American Century have been approved publicly many times by Bush and Obama and Clinton.

It has strong echoes of an older belief, Manifest Destiny - which entitled the U.S. to murder and enslave people in Latin America and The Phillipines - and blame it all on God.
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3. The trouble is that Russia and China are in the way, both militarily and economically. Militarily, Russia and China took far the greatest casualties in World War 2 - and still held on to win. In contrast, the U.S. military has not perfomed well in generations.

Economically, the speed of China's rise has never been duplicated in history. And Russia looks as though it might be getting ready to abandon western style capitalism in favour of a better brand.

Finally, and this may be the biggest obstacle the U.S. faces, the American people will not tolerate heavy casualties. That first showed up in Vietnam. And the feeling has not changed. That's why the U.S. is desperate to get out of Afghanistan. That's why it never completed the conquest of Iraq. That's why it is hiring mercenaries and Jihadists to fight Syria.

Any conventional war with Russia and China would produce a horrible casualty list and , quite possibly, a defeat. No. Conventional war is out.

4. That leaves nuclear war.
The U.S. is certainly looking for some kind of war with Russia and China. Its navy is particularly designed for a war on China. That's why it has prepared the ground by setting up nuclear launch sites close to Russia and China. (setting up missile sites on the Russian border is not to avert a war. It's to create one. We went through the same game in reverse with the Cuban missile crisis. And the U.S. immediately, with a deadline, threatened Russia with a nuclear war.)
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This is what all  those little stories in the news are really all about. Does this sound remarkably stupid on the part of our corporation bosses?

Well, it is. But remember the last aristocracies by inheritance that the western world suffered from. They were arrogant, indifferent to the suffering they caused, greedy without end.

And, oh, they were stupid.
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We'll skip the irving press today. It's the same as yesterday and every day.
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Coverage of the U.S. election campaign consists almost entirely of Trump's odd behaviour. There is virtually no scrutiny of Clinton at all. And it's all a waste of time. it doesn't matter which of them gets elected because neither of them will have any real power. The news media are ignoring reality - the collapse of American democracy.

The outstanding feature of this election is that both presidential candidates have no great appeal. Clinton is doing better only because Trump seems so wacky.  Otherwise, she is one of the weakest candidates in American history.

The issue is not either of these clowns. The issue is that American democracy has crashed. The issue is that the American people are dangerously confused, angry, scared.... And they have no functioning system to turn to.

But the press, including The Guardian, insists on treating this as though Trump and Clinton matter a damn. They aren't the issue. Neither of them really matters.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/19/donald-trump-tries-out-a-new-campaign-tactic-saying-sorry
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The story of the injured boy in Aleppo continues as one of the greatest propaganda stunts in history. It's still front page news. it's certainly terrible. But how come the press has never noticed the millions killed by U.S. bombers?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/19/fighting-rages-aleppo-despite-anger-image-injured-child

The world is angry? So it should be. But where was its anger over the massacres in Guatemala? Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? Libya?
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This next one is a long read, but an important one. It's about the coverup of a brutal period in the history of the British Empire- and it's only one of many that were even worse. Coverups of history - by historians - are quite common. We are trained all our lives by news media, films, fiction and, regrettably, historians, to see our history as glorious. We are raised to believe that we are good - and others are bad. Thus, Bush and Obama (and Clinton) who killed millions are seen as good. But Putin is bad.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/aug/18/uncovering-truth-british-empire-caroline-elkins-mau-mau
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I found  this one fascinating because most of what we read about war is propaganda. We  have very little sense of the how war really works. The writer makes several important points. The most important is that wars almost never work out as they were supposed to. The writer lists many, solid examples of this. Another point is that we never really know  how our weapons will work in any given war. Both the German and the British started World War II with tanks that were close to useless. The Germans learned that when they came up against Russian tanks. But the British never had a decent tank until the last days of the war. (The main American tank, the Sherman. was already outdated before it even saw action.)

He also makes a good point about Trump and Putin. Trump has sinned in the eyes of almost all news media because he wants peace with Russia. (You'll find examples in today's The Guardian.) The logic runs something like - Russia evil therefore Putin evil. America not evil, therefore must fight Russia.

That shows no understanding of either politics or war.

The reading of this is light and even amusing. But when it discusses war, it makes more sense than anything I have seen - including writing by noted war historians.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45294.htm
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And here's one that might make a lot of sense for Canadian farmers (and for city planners in cities like Moncton)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/19/four-important-lessons-from-cubas-urban-food-survival-strategy/
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And here's a reminder that under Obama as under Bush  (and soon under Clinton) has been at war constantly for some sixteen years with many wars in places most Americans have never heard of. Commonly, they are fought by drones and other forms of bombing, indisciminately killing many thousands, probably hundreds of thousands or more of children on the ground.  (Isn't it just terrible, say our news media, what those awful Syrians did to that little boy in Aleppo?)

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/18/the-obama-doctrine-is-ravaging-the-middle-east/
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Rabble.ca is a site staffed largely by Canadian journalists. I was drawn to it because of the quality of the journalism of its chief figure, Karl Nerenberg. It's a site well worth following.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2016/08/olympic-groups-squandering-millions-while-athletes-struggle-t__________________________________________________________________________
And a reader sent these, chilling notes. The opening story comes from Russia - but most of its sources are American.

http://russia-insider.com/en/military/american-pravda-did-us-plan-nuclear-first-strike-against-russia-early-1960s/ri16050

And here's a whole list of sources.

https://ca.search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=C110CA662D20151208&p=US+Planned+to+Nuke+Russia+In+the+E

And Bill Moyers is not - last time I looked - a Russian propagandist.

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-trillion-dollar-question-the-media-have-neglected-to-ask-presidential-candidates/

And isn't it just terrible what those awful Syrians did to that little boy in Aleppo?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 18: A normal day in our world.

Well, in up-to-the-second news for the irving press,  section A has the story that a man accused of break-in will stand trial. Wow! who woulda guessed? There's a big story on an apartmeent development on Main  St. It was a big story yesterday, too. There's photo of a man smiling as he holds up a big cheque for charity.  In large print on the cheque and on a big sign on the wall, it says President's Choice. (That's not a charity donation. That's a free ad something like the Chamber of Commerce dinner for philanthropist irving.) Then there's a big story about an irving reporter learning how to dance.

The editorial  is an important one if you think blueberry sales are a big issue of the day. Rod Allen tells yet another pointless story about his lovable self.
The only column worth reading is one on investing in social programmes. "Human beings are like rivers: helped best from 'upstream'.

Canada&World has only one story from outside Canada. It's about Trump.
Expect the irving press to get worse. Newspapers all over the world are in decline, with many lay-offs and closings. We may be coming to the end of the age of the newspaper. That's probably why the irving press has been looking as though it is running on the super-cheap.

There must be great wailings among the irvings. On one  hand, they need the irving press to keep people ignorant of what's going on in this province. On the other hand, they're addicted to making profits. I'm surprised they haven't thought of their usual remedy for this sort of problem - demand a government grant to keep us uninformed.
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I never thought I would have to do this, but this story about Syria in The Guardian is an example of pretty questionable journalism. It may be that The Guardian is suffering from the financial crunch, too, and losing a bit of its independence.

In this story a young boy is carried out of a bombed out building, wounded and in a state of shock. So what do his rescuers do? They put him under bright lights in a chair obviously chosen for a set-up video oppportunity.

If you were carrying a boy who was wounded and in a state of shock, is that the first thing you would do with him?

The story is full of hints this was the result of bombings by  those evil Syrians. Quite likely it was. But what do people think happens to little boys who are hit by American, British, French, Saudi, (and Canadian) bombs?

And in case you missed all the hints, there a story at the bottom about a Syrian prison which is "the most terrible in the world". Now, there are a lot of quite terrible prisons in this world - not a few of them American. And Saudi. I doubt whether anyone knows which are the most terrible. So why link this to a story about a boy wounded in a bombing?

It links evil with Syria.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/18/boy-in-the-ambulance-image-emerges-syrian-child-aleppo-rubble
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I'm not sure I agree with this next one. If true, it's the ultimate sign of the collapse of the presidency and of democracy in the U.S.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/17/michael-moore-donald-trump-does-not-want-to-be-president
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I'm not sure what to make of this story, either, about Educator opening a school to politicize the military. But its statement that the U.S. operates a similar school for the U.S. military is certainly true - and goes back thirty years or more. At the American school, the army is taught how to overthrow elected governments, assassinate 'trouble makers", set up up pro-U.S. underground groups, and other dirty tricks. It is, or war, mostly aimed at South America.

Of course, most of our news media never heard of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/17/bolivia-anti-imperialist-military-school-evo-morales-us
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Nah. It ain't happenin'.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/18/ice-scientists-arctic-ice-disappearing-reduce-emissions-p
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This one is an old story that the North American press has never told.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45299.htm
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The following article should cause surprise only to North American journalists. The U.S. has been creating Jihadist groups for over 40 years - going back to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. They have proved useful in fighting U.S. wars, notably against Russia and now, Syria. And it's a secret only to the North American press that the U.S. (and the Saudis) have been supplying Jihadists with  money, training, and weapons.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45298.htm
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I  have always been distrustful of Huffington Post. Some of its writers are good. Many more are just propagandists and ideologues. (I knew some.) This article seems to share my reactions to Huffington Post. Lately, It's been big on Hillary. This item explains why.

It also portrays Trump as having some more intelligent ideas than Clinton has. That's quite possibly true. Trump's problem is even his more intelligent ideas lack depth. They would also, if attempted, lead to his assassination.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/18/huffpo-goes-haywire-against-russia-for-hillary/
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 U.S. is very concerned that Russia is using bases in Iran to bomb Jihadists in Syria. Gee! You'ld think the US would want Russia to be bombing  Jihadists. But no. It's quite the contrary. The Jihadists, like ISIS, have been US tools to fight Syria for the U.S.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/18/growing-disquiet-in-washington-over-russian-iranian-actions-in-syria/
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This next guy could be the hottest thing ever to hit the Saturday irving press Faith Page.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/pastor-who-believes-gods-punishes-gays-their-sins-gets-punished-his
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And here's one that the irving press missed - even though it's about Canada.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/council-canadians/2015/07/tpp-leaks-show-canada-post-and-cbc-trade#at_pco=sm
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And a useful reminder that things are seldom what they seem....

http://www.voltairenet.org/article192992.html
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The blog is going well, though most of its following is all over the world rather than here in New Brunswick. Several months ago, it exploded with the sudden appearance of a large, U.S. audience - bigger than all the others put together. Then there was an even bigger Russian audience that appeared quite suddenly, remained steady for two months, then disappeared as abruptly as it had appeared. The U.S. audience remains high and consistent.

However, I am running into a problem.

This blog takes up most of my day. I have also committed myself to an autobiography for my children. But it's very slow going because of the time I give to the blog. I'm beginning to feel the need of a regular time for the autobiography. So I may, somewhat, reduce the number of days devoted to the blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17: Just when you think the irving press couldn't go lower...

.......... it gurgles its way down to the ocean floor.

What can I say about a section A that has headlines like "Man to be tried for robbery", "Gas prices to stay the same", "Woman stole credit card", "Adult spelling bee planned", (giggle, giggle),  "Bus route added"....

The editorial is reasonable. The rest of opinion and comment is, at best, trivial. At worst (guess which one) it's brainless. Another (guess which) is propaganda.

In a world on the edge of nuclear war, Section B has the thrilling tale of a woman who has a pendant given by her great grandfather to her great grandmother. It also has the third or fourth story of a search for a Nazi gold train that might not exist. All the stories are the same.Then, a thrilling story  from New York where a man who killed a Muslim had a gun hidden in his wall. Wow!

There's not a word about the killing in Yemen, in Syria, about U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey, about the Ukraine/Crimea tensions. It's all just the gentle strains of Mr. Irving crooning, "Go to sleep, my baby..."
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There's a story - and an important one - that even the robots at the Irving press could have run. Well, maybe not. It might have offended the boss. It's about how one of the natural wonders of the world, Austalia's Great Barrier Reef, is disappearing- and quickly.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/17/great-barrier-reef-visitors-rush-to-catch-it-before-its-gone
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Greece is one of the poorest nations in the developed world. It's poor, largely because international bankers made it poor - and intend to keep it poor. The U.S. is the richest country in the world - albeit with most of the wealth concentrated among a small number of people.

The U.S. has created tens of millions of refugees, mobs of shattered families, of people who flee their homes to die by starvation and hunger and drowning or, if they're lucky, to find horribly overcrowded refuge on Greek islands that can't hold them all.

Greece did not cause this crisis, But poverty-stricken Greece has to pay for it because the wealthy U.S. which did cause the crisis won't do a thing. (and it will accept very, very few of the refugees because most Americans believe they are Christians. Yep. They really are.        The U.S., with its constant wars, its millions of dead, its use of starvation , its unlimited greed, its debasement of its own people must make Jesus proud of what He did. Praise the Lord.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/17/migration-crisis-greece-plans-new-shelters-to-reduce-overcrowding
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I wonder how the editors at the irving press missed this story. It's kind of big, and it's been simmering for some time.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.731830?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.731830&utm_medium=email&utm
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Poland, like many another country that helped Hitler to persecute Jews, denies it did any such thing. In fact, almost all European countries helped Hitler. And they weren't the only ones. So did Canada and the U.S., even for a time after the war. It's one of the best-kept secrets in history.

In Holland, a Dutch woman was quite indignant about Hitler. She said to me, "He had no right to kill OUR Jews." What she clearly meant was only the Dutch should have been allowed to kill Dutch Jews.

In fact, a sizable part of Hitler's army was Dutch - and French - and others.
When the war ended, Jewish survivors who returned to their homes in The Netherlands were charged taxes for the time they had been away in death camps. And Nazi soldiers did not find Anne Franck all by themselves. And the  American general Patton despised the Jews he saw in the camps, but admired their German captors.

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.737340
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And, gee, here's a story one would think the irving press would jump at.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-cannot-account-for-6-5-trillion-dollars/5541244
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Human Rights Watch is a pretty highly respected organization. So how come the irving press never told us about this report from it?

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/08/01/human-rights-watch-reports-that-us-government-tortured-children-paul-craig-roberts/

But Americans still sing "Jesus loves the little children.." So there's nothing to worry about. (Can you imagine the irving faith page running this story? Or the Irving Chapel making it a subject of coffee and discussion in 'the barn'?)
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And where did Trump get the crazy idea of banning immigrants on ideological grounds? Well, in fact, the law already exists, and was rigidly enforced by both Bush and Obama.

https://theintercept.com/2016/08/17/donald-trump-proposes-banning-immigrants-based-on-ideology-but-bush-and-obama-got-there-first/
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The American spree of election campaigning has been notable for boring and pointless speeches by all candidates. That may explain why I've missed the lying.

https://theintercept.com/2016/08/15/fact-check-911-happened/
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I don't always agree with the opinions in al Jazeera. But most of them are well argued. And the range of the stories beats most of the world's newspapers by far. In terms of honesty (and courage), Haaretz is the champ. But it's range is limited. So al jazeera leads the world in breadth and quality of its coverage

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2016/08/modern-day-slavery-numbers-160816132255063.html

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 16: Trump or Clinton? It doesn't matter.

Well, we've had a big story that Trudeau would be in Caraquet. Today is a big story that he was    in Caraguet. And, almost certainly, tomorrow will be a big story that he left Caraquet. And that's pretty much the only news in section A.
The cartoon on the Opinon page is a good one. It shows 'Canada Then' as a air transport landing peacekeers. Beside it is 'Canada Now' landing tanks for criminal governments. Too bad the irving press has so ignored this story that few readers will understand the cartoon.

The Canadian arms industry has become a prominent force in supplying arms - especially to unsavoury countries, and some that we have agreed not to supply arms to, and some for whom sales are banned by the UN. Mr. Trudeau (isn't he pretty?) has agreed to supply arms to such countries
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The Commentary page was done on the cheap with one commentary from a local politician,, and one from the The Fraser Institute propaganda mill.

In World News, a local man has admitted to making sex tapes of his estranged wife. We are also told, in World News, that that the provincial Conservative party won't change its convention rules. This is, I guess, for those who missed the story in its last ten or so of appearances. Then, also in world news, is a big story that we may have too many wild blueberries this year. And it even has a picture of some so you can tell they're blue.

Russia and Ukraine appear to be on the edge of war, a war that would certainly become nuclear. But that didn't make the irving press. Nor did anything else.
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If you want some real news, go to CBC on the web, and get it free. For example, read the next item - and figure why the irving press would ignore this.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hottest-month-july-2016-1.3722783
Now, tell me all about how climate change isn't happening.

Another big one the irving press missed...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/streit-libya-un-rcmp-brewster-1.3722409

And Trudeau's Liberals have been complicit in much of this. (This report also has a response under it that rather tortures the truth. It says there is no proof these Canadian weapons have killed anyone. Well, no. So what suckers all these Saudis and Libyans must be to buy weapons that don't kill anybody.)
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The next story is more than it might seem to be. Lawyers, human rights activists, environmentalists suffer attacks and murder in Guatemala. But the attackers are not your average thugs.

This is all really an extension of the great massacres in Guatemala  of some 25 years ago when the U.S. sponsored the killiing of 300,000 Guatemalans and many missionaries to force people to accept the abuses inflicted on them by British and Canadian companies - especially in mining.

Now, the human rights groups and environmentalists are coming back to deal with those who, they say, committed war crimes. Are the thugs being supported by the U.S. government? Almost certainly. (In fact, this blog had a story some days ago about an environmentalist who was killed by U.S. special ops.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/15/guatemala-human-rights-laywer-attack-ramon-cadena-ramila
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And here's something unusual. A Christian church is taking a stand against something that is happening in the real world. Very unusual.

For decades, israel has been taking large parts of Palestine, kicking out the Palestinians, and building Israeli "settlements' on it. These  'settlements are often quite large and densely populated - and for Jews only. The Palestinians lose their homes,  their land, everything.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/evangelical-lutherans-to-us-end-israel-aid-if-settlements-stay/
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There's some speculation in this next story. But Seymour Hersh is a journalist with a long history of honesty, intelligence and courage.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37223-seymour-hersh-on-white-house-lies-about-bin-laden-s-death-pakistan-and-the-syrian-
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This next is a Russian source. But you don't need to watch much of the Olympics to see the truth of it. And it's not just the conflict between Russians and Americans. It's the acceptance by the the games and by us of the games as one of this world's dumber displays of nationalism. The real games of ancient Greece were not glory-seeking affairs. They were a worship of the Gods. And that worship was physical, intellectual, musical....

The modern games began as something for the rich only. The founders considered the rich to be better humans than others. That's why only amateurs were permitted. It kept out the riff-raff who couldn't afford to play unless they were paid for it. The intellectual and musical parts were dropped because of a belief at the time  that only physical activity produced the sort of outstanding people that the rich considered themselves to be.

They were also, from the start of the modern games, brainless displays of nationalism - as though one person winning a race were a sign of some nation's moral and social superiority over others.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/355909-usa-rio-gold-washington-warmongering/
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This next is a long one - but worth the time.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/15/us-war-crimes-or-normalized-deviance/
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Lain regions, like Puerto Rico, seldom make the news. That's because the North American wealthy who own most of our news media prefer us to know as little as possible about what they are doing down there.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/16/the-irony-of-hamilton-creator-lin-manuel-mirandas-advocacy-for-puerto-rico/
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Saudi bombers loaded with American bombs seem to be specializing in hitting hospitals and schools in Yemen.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/16/saudi-led-coalition-kills-eleven-people-in-a-msf-hospital-in-yemen/
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We don't hear much about it, but Ukraine had strong nazi sympathies in World War 2, and Ukrainians happily rounded up Jews for the death camps. Naziis in Ukraine are still numerous, and are prominent in the government of Ukraine.

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.737239
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And another story that will never appear in your local press.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.737034
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And guess who's a good buddy to those nice al-quaeda jihadists who are fighting against the Syrian government?

http://www.voltairenet.org/article192782.html
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There is really nothing to report on the American election. It's a clown show on both sides. As well, the world press does not bother reporting on anything but the two, major parties in the U.S. (There are others. Really).

Anyway none of it matters.

The U.S. is owned by the very wealthy who are bleeding it dry, and are also using its people to make even more money for them by fighting for 'patriotism'.  It really doesn't matter who wins.

If Trump wins and doesn't take orders from the super-wealthy, he'll be assassinated. Remember, he's dealing with people who have killed millions and refugeed tens of millions without giving it a second thought.
If Clinton wins, she'll go on doing what she's done her whole political life - take orders from the people who really run the country.

But....

There's deep anger throughout the U.S. So far, Trump has been able to capitalize on that. But there's a limit how far that anger can carry him. Even if he wins the election, a majority of Americans will still detest him.

Clinton has a similar problem. If she wins, it won't be because she's won the hearts and minds of Americans. It will be because a Trump is unthinkable for the majority.

And it's not as if most Americans have any idea what they want. They have been propagandized through schools, movies, TV, radio for many generations. Many have no idea what they want or even what they're angry at.

And that aimless rage will get worse with either Clinton or Trump. And there are, probably, only two results that can follow for that.

One would be a police state that would make Stalinism seem like democracy gone wild. The other would be a complete social breakdown of the U.S. And these two are not mutually exclusive.

And there is a third. Whoever the new president is could try to hold the country together with a major war. Of course, the chances are very, very strong that would become a nuclear war.

The reality of what is happening is that the American system of government has been destroyed. that's been true for a while. The U.S. is now governed by a hereditary aristocracy of wealth. And that aristocracy, which  is too greedy ever to pay taxes, is also too greedy to make concessions.

And their greed has made them too stupid to see that they, too, will suffer from their greed

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15: What a world!

I'll open today with some items that got lost in the confusion of Saturday.
First. there's an item on climate change that the oil industry assures us isn't happening.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ski-resorts-weather-proofing-climate-change-1.3715284

Then there's the one about how the F-35. probably the most expensive fighter aircraft in world history, is now ready for sale. The maker wants to sell it to Canada, despite signs that its problems are not over, that it's aburdly over-priced, and despite the fact that Canada really has no need for it. (Any war that would require such a sophisticated aircraft would go nuclear before the first one took off.)
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/f-35s-touch-down-in-canada-for-first-time-at-abbotsford-air-show-1.3720062

Watch Trudeau squirm on this one.
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Then there's Hillary.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/bill-sardi/youre/

I don't entirely trust Sardi, the writer of this. He's a medical writer who has conflicts of interest in that field. But I know the sources and the information for the column. And    those are sound.
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The irving press was bad on Saturday and much, much worse today.
A front page story for today is that a church has unveiled some time capsules that were hidden in it. It's a long story - but it says nothing beyond what I have just said in the sentence above. Why doesn't the paper tell us about the capsules and what's in them? I have no idea.

And forward-looking Riverview is going to go all out in keeping cats off the streets.

On the editorial and comment pages, the only item worth reading (maybe) is Alec Bruce's column.

Canada&World is a disgrace. The biggest story is that sharks are appearing in New Brunswick waters.  Then there's a silly story about Trump going in a rage after the news media. Now, Trump is a looney-tune. But he's quite right about the press in his country. It's all owned by a  handful of multi-billionaires who want Hillary. Trump certainly gives them opportunities. And they look for them. Interviews with him have been scrapped because they weren't silly enough. Not a critical word has been said about Hillary despite her record of corruption and lying. In fact, Hillary has been largely ignored to concentrate all attention on how unsuitable Trump is.

The rreally big news is that American democracy has fallen so far that it no longer exists; and neither Trump nor Hillary is suitable.

On this issue, at least, Trump is bang on.

In general, this is an awful, awful day, even by the standards of the irving press. Almost all of it is trivial, and with no sense of organization.
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And just to show how people on all sides get wrapped up in corruption -----

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/us/politics/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20160815&nl=todayshe
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I include this next one because the Cuban revolution is far, far from over.  In the 1950s, Cuba was  in the worse imaginable poverty, without educaton, without health care, and ruled by one of the world's most murderous dictators. And U.S. big business thought that was just dandy. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were furious at the impudence of Castro in overthrowing their dictator. They bombed. They sponsored an invasion. They placed crippling sanctions on Cuban trade to keep it poor. Over the years, they set off bombs in Cuban hotels, blew up a Cuban civil airliner, tried to kill Castro many times.

Worst of all in the eyes of U.S. big money, Cuba was, and is,  a bad example for countries still under U.S. dictators - Haiti, Central America in general.
And it's not over. The  U.S. sanctions are still in place. They are still doing enormous damage. Cuba, by its example, is still a threat to the American Empire.  U.S. (and Canadian) billionaires have not softened. They have simply changed their methods.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/multimedia/The-Victory-of-Fidel-Castros-Cuban-Revolution--20150101-0009.html
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The U.S. has been hiring its killers for years from 'private contractors' who rent out soldiers. They're ideal. Nobody cares if they get killed or wounded - and the U.S. has no obligation to help them. And the press pays no attention to them. So they can be used for wars and murders the U.S. prefers to keep quiet. They're like the mobsters of the 1930s called Murder Inc. You pay. They kill.

This time they're being hired to kill ISIS.  Last time, they were being hired (and still are) to kill Syrians. They kill anybody. Just pay up front.

http://www.special-ops.org/19593/pentagon-to-approve-first-private-contractors-to-fight-isis-in-syria/
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Patrick Buchanan is no political lighweight. He's a man of wide experience at the highest political levels. He implies an admiration for Trump that I can't share. (I think both Trump and Clinton are disasters.) But Buchanan is, otherwise, quite right about the danger the U.S. faces. This is the final illness of a democracy that never was very healthy.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45287.htm
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And, again, Paul Craig Roberts is a pretty knowledgeable source.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45284.htm
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The next is by Ray McGovern who's a retired analyist for the CIA.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/12/mike-morells-kill-russians-advice/
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Our news media tell us little about the destruction of humans in the middle east, and even less about the destruction of huge areas of the world's most treasured history.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/15/as-our-cultural-heritage-in-syria-hemorrhages-villagers-work-to-restore-it/
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And here's something from rabble.ca that you'll never see in the irving press. Actually, it's gentle. It could also have mentioned the brutal history of Canadian mining in Central America, Asia and, sometimes, in Canada.

"MYTH #6: Canada isn't complicit in global human rights abuse
We Welcome African Refugees. Statement by Facebook message".

"Canada has been one of the leading Western powers involved in mineral exploitation. Quantum Minerals, a Canadian-based mining company has had a significant role in fuelling the resource war in Congo, forcing a growing number of Congolese people to flee.

Quantum Minerals has also been involved in providing weapons to multiple rebel groups, in order to proliferate the unregulated market. Nevsun Resources, a Vancouver-based company, owns a mining site in Eritrea. There are allegations that hundreds of forced Eritrean labourers worked there.

The practice of forced labour is the key reason Eritreans are leaving the country, at a rate of about 5,000 a month, a higher proportion of refugees per capita than even Syria.

We Welcome African Refugees has been highlighting the refugee crisis from the perspective of African Refugees. Their stories have been silenced, and, when they are discussed, the root causes are hidden.

We see the African refugee crisis as strongly connected with Canadian mining in Africa. We cannot treat resource exploitation and the African refugee crisis as two separate issues."
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Fifty years ago, Canada's former CCF party had an internal revolution. It began, as always, with a lack of money. (Major corporations don't give money to left wing parties, just to the Harpers and Justin Trudeaus of this world who do what the rich tell them to do.) The CCF turned to the unions. But they made it clear they would give any unless the CCF was moved way over to the centre.

It was one hell of a fight. I knew many of the principals in it. The unions won, and so the NDP was born.

Since then, it hasn't gained an inch. Fifty years which could have been used to help people understand what the party stood for were thrown away. And they were thrown away for no advantage at all. The New Brunswick NDP might think about that.

New Brunswick, in particular, remains mired in the puppet politics of the nineteenth century with government OF lawyers FOR the wealthy.

And the voters vote muttering, I've always been a Liberal or I've always been Conservative. In fact, not one voter in a thousand knows what those words mean. And that thousand who don't know includes all the candidates. The Liberals are not Liberal and the Conservatives are not Conservative. Probably the closest thing Canada has ever had to a liberal prime minister was Harper. MacKenzie-King (Liberal) was probably our closest to a conservative pm - though he was forced into it.